Defining the Character Types In a Story

What is somebody’s disposition, and how does it change?

I was having a conversation last night with a fellow writer, and in walks his roommate. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know we were working on becoming co-writers of a book. Additionally I failed to communicate properly, which if you read my blog you know that I’m a bit socially retarded, so it wasn’t a surprise.

We were discussing how to judge people properly, and that pride with greed go together depending on personality types. The judgement angle might have been what turned him around, but I didn’t know so I tried my best to help him understand where I was coming from by saying, “I like you, but if I was going to write you into a book, I’d judge you with my best attempt at objectivity.”

Maybe he didn’t like the idea of being the object of my judgement, as I started in on his lifestyle and what I could look at to define him. I probably should have let him debate the idea of becoming a character in a book, before launching into verbally writing it in a brainstorm, and I felt bad that he left in a hurry seeking water.

This moment was a beautiful example of why I love this place to write. People here enjoy the peace of mind found in sharing perceptions that build each other up, and I found that same feeling when I shared with my co-author. He’s a blogger too, which probably helps him receive constructive criticism, and we laughed together about this, which to me solidified our collective effort to define personalities.

My first attempt to formally develop character types for fiction:

From role-playing games when I was a kid, I remember the process of developing a character to play. We’d roll a ten-sided-die twice and choose from a scale of dispositions:

Diabolical(100-81), Aberrant(80-61), Anarchist(60-41), Scrupulous(40-21), and Altruist(20-0)

The scale was an interesting way to approach personality, and I found that the higher or lower you picked, the less flexibility of choice you had to get “playing in character bonuses”. My favorite “experience points” to earn(this is how you gained character strength), were called “deductive reasoning and or insight”. This is why I love to put question marks where they don’t belong?

The funny thing to me about intelligence, is that it fits into this paradigm for me. In my experience the smartest and least intelligent experiences I’ve had, shrink my options towards contentment. The closer I get to accepting I’m not better or worse, the happier I am.

Editing this now for the sake of grace(I am talking about judgement here, so please take a deep breath and recognize that to me it’s synonymous with definition, and I prefer the thesaurus), I’m realizing that maybe this is why my philosophical approach to imagination is getting me into trouble with people’s comfort zones.

Maybe most people want a clearly defined sentence. They want to know, and are not comfortable with a question mark on identity, because it might imply an unreliable narrator? Is this why I’m pursuing the goal of promoting imagination in education?  Is teaching and learning how to think more important to me, than finding the answers?  In my experience learning how to judge myself more gracefully, builds my self-esteem, mental health,  and confidence.

From an oblique spiritual perspective(non-religious/scientific/creative) I would say that the scale fits gradients of selfishness, as the lowest numbers would be most generous. Pride and shame would be higher while humble would be lower. Hate would be high, while love and compassion would be lower. Nihilism would be highest followed by Materialism, Pragmatism, Utilitarianism, and finally Spiritualism?

Since this is all theory, let’s put it to a test. I’m seeking to help another writer and myself, which would imply a combination of selfish and generous within the gospel of Pragmatism and Utilitarianism, as a teacher/student. I’m concerned that sharing these perceptions with pride wouldn’t help my creative juices, so I’m doing my best to remain objective and humble, as identity is part of well-being, and I hope to maintain my spiritual health. How can I remain objective? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. There. I feel better.

Since I’m talking about character class, I’ve worked myself up to socioeconomic status. What does money do for me? It gives me power in materialism, and allows me to get what I want in selfish ways easier. At the same time it allows me to be generous, so its a matter of choice.  What does lack of money do for me? It makes me wish I was a saint. Most of us are somewhere in between having no money, and having too much.

Since books and life in general consistently have heroes vs villains, and most people compare themselves to these polarized opposites when they question identity, I better address it for the sake of character type definition. It comes down to personal perceptions of good vs evil.

The things that I consistently battle with in my goals towards imaginative thought, are the cultural constructs around perceptions of work and play. Is working in your mind as valuable as working with your body? If what you produce is immaterial like this article, is it justifiable as work? If I love doing it and see it as play, can it still be work in your mind?  If I don’t make money at it, will you call me a professional volunteer, a fool, crazy, or eccentric?

Buckminister Fuller helps me feel good about this dilemma with an idea I love to share:
“I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing–a noun. I seem to be a verb.” On that note his quote about work brought me happiness the other day, when I was doubting my goals and identity as a blogger and scholar:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

Since character development is such an important part of plot, think of this blog as my dream of how I can have a happy ending.  Each article is a moment in my process as a Student/Teacher/Blogger/Artist/Builder/Executive Director, and Friend who loves to write.  With each letter I type, and each thought I share, my understanding of this art grows.  I might get knocked down by a rule, and your encouragement helps me get back up, and attempt to figure out why.

Toys are tools, and work is play.  This is an instrument that does both.  If you are reading for the first time on this blog, welcome to the definition of myself that will never change:  I am in flux and content to ask questions for the sake of TATWIP goals.  If you have questions or answers, feel free to give me some of your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading.


Put some of this in your pipe

I’ve had strangers tell me they wanted to have some of whatever I was smoking.  The smile on their face told me it wasn’t fake, as they weren’t biting the flesh on my back in resentment of my happiness, and trying to dim my shine.  They had seen the strength of my attitude blazing with gratitude, and contagion had set in.  They wanted some, and I had it to share.

This gal reminded me of that foreign feeling where weird meets fun and acceptance, by a stranger.  It didn’t come with doubt, worry, or fading purpose, it rode in on a white horse with tail afire.  The dust it left behind by stomping across my brain, was this post.  Good luck with Facebook gal although it looks like you’re doing great

If you look carefully at the tree growth in the middle, you'll see that the foliage isn't the same.  I discovered this while trying to get through it.  Being seventy feet up in the tree, I thought the climbing would get easier and was surprised to find it impenetrably odd.

If you look carefully at the tree growth in the middle, you’ll see that the foliage isn’t the same. I discovered this while trying to get through it. Being seventy feet up in the tree, I thought the climbing would get easier as the limbs would be closer together.  I was surprised to find it impenetrable as the unified limbs had grown into a mass of twisted growth.  It became my favorite tree in the park that day, as a place I could not go, but still wished I had in a beautiful failure.  I could go up there with a saw and make a path through the branches, but I prefer to point it out to others in the park, because the moment of rejection was what brought me to love the tree. 




with WordPress, so you might not need it.

Focus Stall Ranting

I enjoyed your article, as I also find myself in the unenviable position, of freezing my life due to heart breaks, to reflect on the patterns in the pain of the past. As you said, my symptoms are flight, fight, and freeze.

On my blogging adventure, I’m fighting by writing for the growth of my well-being, and yesterday I watched an interesting video on the study of perspective in time, that helps build my serenity for that purpose.

In the flight from emotional pain over the last year, I’ve become fascinated by how time relates to my spirituality and identity. It has a harsh impact on the judgements of others for who I am(an emotional trigger you shared too),so you I hope this video helps you too. Food for thought in The Secret Powers of Time.  The only criticism I would give, is that I wouldn’t choose to represent the present tense derogatorily as “Present Hedonist”, as I find the spiritual practice of “Mindfullness”, and living in the moment, bring me contentment.

I used my desire to comment on your article, as a motivator to edit my long list of backlogged drafts, so thanks for sharing your struggle, it inspired me to improve this article from 2012:

Why am I doubting the darkness, and interrogating the sun? Why does the cold make me angry, and the heat make me sad? What is this thing that makes me look up, expecting to see the ceiling, and finding the closet floor? What is the combination of the lock to the cellar door?

Why am I so tired, with rest evading me like a bouncing deer? Staring at one of my biggest fears, shaking my head and grinning, a mantra uttered to survive. Turning on the music, taking a shower, shaving, turning up the music, dancing, singing, drinking water….

Taking on something simple while physically demanding, as a challenge that will exhaust me to complete. A work that takes all of it away, and leaves me trembling for a different reason, than the one that motivated me to write this.

It’s a precipice, a focus stall, a pit. The scattering fragmentation and suffering of doubts, popping up like bubbles in a boil.

Putting my ear muffs on to cancel out the noise of the chain saws hitting rock, in my head, and again, turning up the music. Dancing to feeling it, loving it as a moment in time. Always as my salvation, the double safeties with end knots, rescuing my lost soul.

A place of absorption with mind whipping like a snake rattle…I’m barely alive. Outside the door lying under the floor, lurks my passions, perseverance, drive, resilience, sanctuary, art, and focus. Play that makes me tall, a work that fixes all.

It’s the decision that’s already been made, and a willingness to pursue it with dogged focus. Getting it done for me, means learning to transcend the focus stalls with grace.

So if you see me with bloodshot eyes and grinning, sweating while lifting, moving at high-speed, know that what you see is glee, buried in an uncontrollable passion to finish.

I have no choice to make at this point. My life has become make or die, and I love being an Artist Builder. Thanks again for inspiring me to lift this back up, by writing about the dynamics of your mental health, and the scientific study of it. Be well.

This is little blue man.  He glows in the dark.  My third puppet.  Made from reclaimed Douglas Fir, Yew wood, and an assortment of semi precious stone beads.

This is little blue man. He glows in the dark, and is my third puppet. Made from reclaimed Douglas Fir, Yew wood, and an assortment of semiprecious stone beads.  His strings are cut, because making him was my passion, and controlling him didn’t bring me happiness.


Putting love where it should be

If I could transform the hatred in my heart for what you do into chisel strikes, with each flake of stone representing the love for you I hold onto when you treat me like this, then maybe the sculpture could represent my compassion for you.

If my pride could be the hammer of nails onto a chalk board, slamming my shames into the wall behind it, then maybe the dust that mixed with the plaster and slate at the bottom of the wall, could be my humbled tears…for you.

If the leaping that I’ve done into the pit of misery isn’t enough, can I at least now give you what I know, in the interest of the ledge being something you begin to acknowledge with hope?

I’ve waited all my life, anticipated tomorrow as a plan to do the same, and see in this moment, my purpose in the satisfaction of loving you.

If I can take all my anger and turn it into a match, lighting my frustrations up with the air of my fears, stoking the fire of me with the kindling that is our reason for caring at all, maybe then I can build the wall I need, to be who I am without worrying what you think.

If you could see that the wall built with the rocks of me saying no, is my best attempt at protecting your potential to shine, then maybe we could be together again.

Pockets soft into slip fingers

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As “fingers slip into soft pockets”, this is not gibberish, as I’m making fun of lies in the form of twisted art. A challenging practice, one I don’t hesitate to share, but have little to compare it to. To it compare to little have but share to hesitate don’t I one practice challenging a. Art twisted of form the in lies of fun making I’m as gibberish not is this, “pockets soft into slip fingers” As. 🙂